China partners Germany at this year's international computer fair CeBIT in Hannover, showcasing its rise as a high-tech power. Hayley Platt asks SAP's chief executive, Bill McDermott, whether he sees the Chinese as a big threat when it comes to developing new technologies?
Two of the world's biggest powerhouses have joined forces for this year's international computer fair in Hannover. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and China's Vice Premier Ma Kai opened the CeBIT exhibition. More than 600 Chinese companies are taking part, including big names like Alibaba and Lenovo. China's putting technology at the heart of its growth plans. And says it's ready to work closely with other countries. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE VICE PREMIER, MA KAI, SAYING: "We need a brighter view and an open mind to bring forward cooperation and development. China is ready, together with the international community, to harmonise political and legal frameworks, to abolish trade and technological barriers and to improve the environment for investments and trade." That's welcome news for many foreign internet companies who've previously been denied access to China. At some point Google, Facebook and Twitter have all had their services either disrupted or blocked. James Bevan is from Investment Management firm CCLA. SOUNDBITE: Chief Investment Officer CCLA, James Bevan, saying (English): "China is a huge player in the global economy and therefore not surprisingly everybody wants to participate in China's economic vitality. The influence however is going to be somewhat mixed at the company level and we're going to have to see how management at the individual company determines how it wants to play the Chinese story." This year the fair's focus is on Dconomy - the combination of digitization and economy. And what some have described as the next big mega trend - The Internet of Things. Bill MCDermott is CEO of Germany's SAP - Europe's biggest software firm. SOUNDBITE: Bill McDermott, CEO SAP, saying (English): "I see the technologies that are developed in China as a great opportunity for SAP because many of our partners and of course many of our customers are in China. We kind of think of China as a second home and it has become one of the top five markets in the world for SAP." The Internet of Things is being touted as the third wave in the internet's development. It has the potential of connecting billions of 'things' to the internet by 2020 - ranging from retail to manufacturing.